How to Choose Under Cabinet Lighting


Anywhere you have cabinets, you have potential light blockers, meaning that countertops underneath those cabinets might not get the light you need for things like reading recipes or chopping veggies. One of the best ways to make sure you have adequate lighting where you need it is to add under cabinet lights. However, with so many options, choosing the right one for you can be overwhelming. Not to worry, we’ll help you figure out which lighting system might work best for your needs and your kitchen.

Types of Under Cabinet Lighting

Like all home lighting systems, under-cabinet lights come in a variety of options; some will be better in certain homes than others. Knowing what’s best for you and your home can save you time and money associated with installation costs.

Battery Powered Under Cabinet Lighting

These lights are available in a few different forms, such as strips or under cabinet puck lighting; battery-powered under cabinet lighting has some major benefits. First and foremost, you can install them about anywhere. Another advantage can also be seen as a drawback: the batteries. Because these lights are battery-powered, they will still work during power outages. But batteries go bad, so you might not have light when you want or need it.

Hardwired LED Under Cabinet Lighting

Having hardwired lighting under your cabinet allows you to connect your lights to a switch, giving you easy control over your lights. A hardwired lighting system also makes hiding wires easier since they will connect to an existing circuit within the kitchen wall. The only challenge with hardwired lighting is that while most people can install battery-powered or plugin lights themselves, hardwired lighting requires professional expertise. Therefore, the installation of hardwired lighting will need to be done by a trained electrician to ensure it is done correctly and safely.

Are LED Under Cabinet Lights Dimmable?

Yes, if you already have a dimmer switch, your LED lights can be operated using the existing switch. Some also come with a remote that allows you to dim and brighten your lights remotely. One big advantage of using LED lights under your cabinets is the option to connect them to an existing smart home system. This functionality gives you options to turn lights on and off using your voice and to access them remotely (when you are not at home) using your smart home app.

Plugin Under Cabinet Lighting

This lighting option provides a good balance between the battery and hardwired options. A plugin system can be used wherever you have access to an existing outlet. And you don’t need to worry about replacing batteries. As long as the power stays on, you have lights. However, this option does mean that the lights will occupy one of your existing outlets, which you might need for a countertop appliance. Another option is to add a few additional outlets to your kitchen (which is not a bad idea anyway).

How Bright Should Under Cabinet Lighting Be?

Brightness will depend on the type of lights/bulbs you use (incandescent, halogen, LED, etc.) For example, an incandescent bulb that produces 400 lumens (38 watts) should provide enough under cabinet light for most kitchen tasks. However, if your under-cabinet lighting is primarily an accent instead of utility lighting, you can go with lower lumens.

Related Topic: Accent Lighting for Your Home

Still Have Cabinet Lighting Questions?

Under-cabinet lights in your kitchen can be both aesthetically pleasing and functional. If you still have questions about which type of lights might work best in your kitchen, your local Mr. Electric can help. Whether you need additional outlets or would like to discuss a hardwired option. Our service professionals have the knowledge and experience to get it done for you. To learn more, call us at (844) 866-1367 or schedule an appointment online today.


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